This is a bit of a recap of the events of Chain of Gold and Chain of Iron. Spoilers Ahead. If you haven’t read the previous books in the Last Hour Series, as well as Ghost of the Shadowhunter Market Stop Now and come back after you have as it might contain some spoilers from those books.
The Last Hours is a sequel series after the events of The Infernal Devices series.
This series focuses on the children and a little bit of the characters from The Infernal Devices. James and Lucie are children of Will and Tessa Herondale. Tessa is a warlock which means she’s fathered by a demon. Hence James and Lucie have shadow powers due to their mother’s demonic lineage.
The Merry Men
At the shadowhunter academy, James discovered his ability to turn into a shadow earned him the nickname “Demon Eyes” among the students in the Academy and he became regularly bullied, particularly because he was feared as part demon, Part shadowhunter.
Despite this, James decided to stay, not wanting to make his mother feel bad for his fate. Ultimately, he becomes good friends with Matthew Fairchild, Thomas Lightwood, and their cousin Christopher Lightwood.
Eventually, James was expelled and left the academy after he was blamed for a prank gone wrong masterminded by Alistair Carstairs. They intended to let loose a Vetis demon upon James in an attempt to scare him away and out of the Academy.
The plan backfired when the demon escaped and the boy holding the Pyxis was killed.
When James was expelled Matthew approached Alistair intending to berate him for his cowardice; instead, Alastair told him of rumours that he was not Henry’s offspring and was instead Charlotte’s son with Gideon Lightwood.
Matthew staged an explosion with Christopher in the Academy which got the two of them expelled and begged James’s father to take him to London with them.
Declaring that he and James were to be parabatai and thus should not be separated, a suggestion the pair took to heart and decided that they would make true.
The closeness of their families made it possible for the four of them to continue being friends. Matthew, Thomas, and Christopher’s families all decided to move to London so they could remain close and be trained together at the Institute.
Thomas upon returning from his travels decided to join them in London since all his friends were no longer at the institute.
Thomas and Alastair
When Thomas reached the age of 18, his father, Gideon, sent him to Spain for a year of travel. He quickly grew to be the tallest member in their group, and he gained muscle and strength. He also obtained a new weapon, the bolas.
When the head of the Madrid Institute proposed that Thomas take two weeks off, he took Matthew’s suggestion and travelled to Paris.
After a few of days of wandering the city alone, Thomas stumbled across Alastair Carstairs. Just before Alastair departed Paris, the two spent two days together and loved one other’s company.
Matthew’s Deep Secret
Alastair’s falsehoods regarding the imagined rumours that he was Gideon’s bastard had a greater impact on Matthew than he liked. He became nervous and despised Gideon, refusing to think of him as his uncle.
During a journey to the London Shadow Market, Matthew stumbled into Brother Zachariah, also known as Uncle Jem to the Herondales and Lightwoods, and decided to get closer to him. Matthew was particularly attracted by a potion that he was encouraged to believe would coerce someone into telling the truth, and he purchased it behind Zachariah’s back.
He mixed the concoction into the cranberries for his mother’s scones, believing it would force her to reveal the truth about his origins or the state of her marriage to Henry.
When Charlotte took a bite, Matthew recognized the potion was a poisonous concussion. Charlotte lived, but the child in her womb did not, according to Zachariah.
He advised Matthew to inform someone about the weight of his transgression, but Matthew refused and pretended to be unaware.
He drank to drown his sorrows and regrets, and while his family and friends were aware and worried, most avoided the subject as an unspoken rule.
James Meets Cordelia
James was sent to Cirenworth after being expelled from the Academy to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He had the scalding fever, a Shadowhunter sickness, while there.
Everyone else in the home who hadn’t already had it was compelled to go, leaving him alone with Cordelia Carstairs and her mother. Cordelia sat by his bedside while he drifted in and out of consciousness, bringing him water or reading to him when he awakened.
He noticed himself transforming into a shadow at one point. Fearful, he grabbed for Cordelia, who, rather than fleeing, slipped into bed with him and held him until he returned to himself.
James Meets Grace
James was declared healed a few days later and was free to rejoin his family at their Idris manor estate.
He ran into Grace Blackthorn, whom he had met and befriended the previous summer while pruning her house’s briars, and couldn’t stop talking about Cordelia. Grace eventually laughed him off, explaining that he was babbling because he was in love with Cordelia.
James and Grace became friends after he used his shadow ability to retrieve her birth mother’s bracelet from Tatiana Blackthorn. Over the years, they developed an understanding that one day James would save her from her mother’s clutches and marry her.
Occasionally, Grace would break things off with him in an effort to torture him. After one such time, James got extremely drunk and began making dangerous bets with Ragnor Fell, the former High Warlock of London.
He was rescued from his self-destructive behaviour by Magnus Bane, Who had Become Will’s friend. The following day, Grace wrote back to him apologizing, claiming she was only afraid, and the two resumed their relationship.
Chain of Bronze #1 Recap
In August 1903, James found himself falling into his shadow realm uncontrollably and repeatedly in a matter of a few days.
He and his friends decided to look into the matter and heard comments from various demons about his grandfather. James began trying to figure out which Prince of Hell he might be and even asked Jem if he had ever turned up anything in the time he spent looking for the same answer.
Grace, who had recently moved to London, asked James to run away with her, become mundanes, and get married. James tried to convince her that it would not free her from Tatiana, but she accused him of forgetting her and not loving her enough.
The next day, she broke things off with him, told him she was engaged to Charles Fairchild, and asked for her bracelet back before her mother recovered from being poisoned by these demons.
With the spell broken, the fog that had been over James’s mind for the last few years finally lifted and he found he could think clearly. He figured out that the warlock Emmanuel Gast had raised a Mandikhor demon.
With some research, they discovered the Mandikhor could produce an unlimited amount of smaller demons known as Khora demons—the shadowy figures that had been attacking them.
They also learned that it was difficult to kill and so they would have to capture the Mandikhor in a Pyxis. Stealing one from Hypatia Vex, they went to face the demon on Tower Bridge. Unfortunately, it was too strong for the Pyxis, breaking out and vanishing.
While working on a cure for the demon poisoning, after Thomas’s sister Barbara was infected and killed by demon poison. Christopher was poisoned and brought to the Silent City. James received a note requesting his presence at the infirmary there and took Cordelia and Matthew with him.
While waiting for Jem, Christopher called out to James warning him that it was all about him and he must leave. After fleeing the Bone City, James opened a Portal into the shadow realm to face his grandfather, Belial. Belial tried to convince him to possess his body, but James refused.
Belial commanded the Mandikhor to attack James, but Cordelia arrived to aid him in battle. James realized he was able to reach into the realm itself through his connection to Belial and used these powers to destroy the mandikhor.
Belial was cut off when Cordelia stabbed him with Cortana. The realm began to collapse and James and Cordelia were returned to their world. James was dying when they returned, but the ghost of Jesse Blackthorn gave him his last breath, saving his life.
Grace visited James and told him of her mother’s involvement in necromancy and her plans against Nephilim. She forced him to destroy an automaton at Blackthorn Manor, and he agreed.
At the Enclave meeting, Tatiana accused James of having orchestrated the Mandikhor attacks and burning her house down. Cordelia provided him with an alibi, claiming that she had been with him instead and James proposed to her in order to save her reputation. Cordelia accepted, provided he remain faithful to her.
Chain of Iron #2 Recap
Over the next few months, James spent the majority of his time planning his future house with Cordelia for after the wedding. During this time, he danced with his fiancée and kept his promise not to talk with Grace.
He often considered taking off the bracelet she had given him out of respect for Cordelia, but whenever he tried, either he couldn’t get it open or his thoughts strayed elsewhere, the job forgotten. As a result, it remained on for their wedding and subsequent marriage.
The couple’s first few weeks of marriage went swimmingly. James discovered that he enjoyed Cordelia’s constant company and their nightly ritual of playing chess and getting to know each other better. They discussed going frequently, particularly to Constantinople, and he purchased her a golden globe necklace to commemorate their two-week anniversary.
Eventually, it became clear that there was a murderer on the loose attacking Shadowhunters, and James began to have vivid visions of these murders in his sleep.
Hence leading him to believe he may be responsible; that Belial was possessing him in his sleep and forcing him to commit these acts. The Merry Men and his friends decided they would begin investigating to prove his innocence. On more than one occasion, he tied himself to the bed in order to make sure he could not leave.
During all this, his feelings for Daisy were slowly rising to the surface despite the spell keeping him to Grace via the bracelet. At one point, Grace stopped by seeking to emotionally torment him a bit but even she could tell when he was kissing her that his mind was on Cordelia. Afterwards, he noticed a crack in the metal of the bracelet.
He was able to prove his innocence when another murder occurred while he has been tied down to his bed and watched over.
He was absolved of his potential guilt when another murder occurred while he had been observed confined to his bed.
They discovered that Thomas had been arrested as the killer and went to see him, he gave them an object he had found next to the latest victim that he believed to be the killer.
His relief was short-lived, however, as news broke that Thomas had been arrested as the killer. They ran to see him and he gave them an object he had found next to the latest victim that he believed to be the killers.
While they went to find out who the object belonged to, Alastair, came forward and claimed to have been following him for his safety and could attest to his innocence. They were both held in the sanctuary overnight till they could be tried by the mortal sword. Overnight the boys reconciled their strained relationship and admitted their true feelings for one another,
The gang then headed to the London Shadow Market to investigate the artifact and met Magnus. He gave some insight into the item and then volunteered to come over and help James spy on Belial using his abilities since they suspected he was the one sending him the visions.
They were attacked by demons on their way home to wait for Magnus, and James overheard them calling Cordelia a paladin before fleeing.
When he confronted her about it at home, she explained that she had gone to see Wayland the Smith a while back when Cortana was acting up, and he had asked her to be his paladin after repairing the sword. Apparently, it turned out she was tricked by Lilith.
Soon enough, Magnus arrived and helped James travel between realms in his mind to Edom. James was able to go to Edom and confornt Belial, But Belial – The Prince Of Hell only denied the accusations, and James realized he could not get back.
He began fighting with Belial and Cordelia’s voice called to him enabling him to get back. While attending to his wounds, the pair got intimate and Grace’s bracelet broke in half, causing him to faint.
James, Cordelia, and Matthew arrive at Mount Street Gardens to find Charles and Belial in the body of Jesse Blackthorn. A fight between Belial and Cordelia ensued, and Lilith revealed that she had been disguising herself as a number of people to make Cordelia her paladin.
Lucie arrived to preserve Jesse’s body, and James used the gun Christopher had given him to dispatch Lilith. James then came to assist his wife in dealing another wound to Belial by turning her to shadow with him. With Belial gone, the group headed to the Institute, where they battled Leviathan.
James gave an abridged version of events to the Enclave, who deemed Tatiana a threat that needed to be interrogated. Back at home, James relayed the full story to his friends.
James attempted to console Cordelia, who was distraught over the revelation that she was Lilith’s paladin. He resolved to tell her he loved her, about the bracelet which made him think he was in love with Grace, and to ask to remarry her for a true marriage, but was interrupted by Grace.
He decided to use this to his advantage and get her to confess what she had been doing to him.
When he went to speak to Cordelia, he found she was gone and Tracked her to Matthew’s flat. He found a note in which Matthew explained his intentions with Cordelia, that he was taking her to Paris, and that they could discuss a new marital arrangement when they returned.
He had been angry when he’d opened the door to see Grace, angry that she’d thrown her arms around his neck, but he’d let her hold on to him, wanting to keep her in the house.
It had never occurred to him that Cordelia might have seen him embrace Grace, heard what she’d said. I had to tell you, darling, I am going to end it with Charles. There never was anyone for me but you.
And what had he said back? Thank God.
James went to the train station, determined to stop them and tell them everything, but was waylaid by his father, frantic over his sister’s disappearance. James agreed to help him search for Lucie, and thus had to let Cordelia go undisturbed.